A Glowing Future for Street Lighting!

Meet a solar-powered alternative to electric street lights.

Jogger standing on solar-powered street lighting

(Courtesy of NEVANA DESIGNS)

A bright idea is starting to light up parts of the world right now! Inventor Hamish Scott has used photoluminescent technology to create an energy-saving, cost-effective, and durable  spray-on surface coating that could be the future of street lighting worldwide.

A luminous alternative
This luminous paint-like coating can turn ordinary pathways and roads into light-responsive, “self-sufficient” routes that glow in the dark for hours. The surfaces it coats include tarmac, concrete and wood.  It comes in a range of blue, green and aqua shades, and can be made into multiple shapes and designs to boost visibility after dark.

Starpath is the brainchild of Hamish Scott, and created by Nevana Designs. Scott has taken his Starpath technology and made it more accessible as a packaged product that’s ready-to-use. It is aimed at governments, councils and DIY enthusiasts.

Scott credits his father as his inspiration for doing something to help the planet. He told the Daily Mail that his Dad’s passion for recycling rubber and plastics always interested him.

“His vision lead me in the direction of producing a sustainable, eco-friendly solution to help with the global climate crisis. Hence Starpath was born. My vision was to utilize the Earth's natural resources to help reduce global energy demands and ultimately lower carbon emissions.“

A people- and environmentally-friendly light
This material drinks in the energy of the sun during the day, and gives back gentle lighting after dark, keeping cyclists, pedestrians and drivers safer.

Its website spells out its green credentials: “Starpath is a unique, zero-energy solution that transforms any resin-based surface into a light-responsive, sustainable pathway, emitting light for up to 10 hours.”

Scott explains in the video that the glowing part of the product Is  “strontium aluminate, which is a natural earth product so like a sponge, these particles are soaking up UV rays.”

Other benefits include that there is no maintenance as in the case of light bulbs which need changing. And according to Scott, this product can last and glow for at least 30 years. This luminous coating also offers an attractive outdoor environment for tourists

While many countries have started using energy-efficient LED lights in place of sodium streetlights, the switch has not been enough of a transformation to meet their energy reduction goals, reports the Daily Mail.

Goodbye light pollution!
Light pollution is the presence of excessive, artificial lighting generated by people. It can negatively impact the health of people and animals.

Scott explains how Starpath sidesteps this problem: “When you’re walking along a pathway with lighting on it, you walk into the light, then you walk out of the light. Starpath moves with you so it’s a completely different concept.

A leg up for developing countries
As you may have guessed, while Starpath is already in over 20 countries worldwide, the countries that most stand to gain from Starpath technology are developing countries. This is because they typically have less reliable power supplies as well as limited budgets:

“We’re getting a massive response from developing countries where power supplies are very hit and miss. In those scenarios it’s going to be extremely handy – and not just for pathways or cycleways; there’s also the potential to roll this out down hard shoulders and central reservations,” Scott told the Independent.

As Scott told the Daily Mail: 'Our goal is to help with climate change, save energy through natural methods, and leave future generations a healthier planet.”

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